Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Woolly Nest

Those 3 words could describe my yarn storage area, but in this case I mean it literally.  I found this nest recently while walking my dog on a trail near my house:

I found it on the ground, so I'm assuming it fell out of a nearby tree.  It took a few moments for me to recognize it for what it was, but once I did, I was very excited.  I used to spread my leftover yarn scraps around the garden and pasture in hopes that they would be gathered by nesting birds.  I stopped the practice only recently because I didn't think the scraps were being used.  What a treat to see that they are being used after all! 

I am pretty sure the red strands you can see in the picture are pieces I set out.  Also, what I originally thought was something akin to dryer lint is actually raw wool.  Our sheep is a Dorper, a breed with a mixture of hair and wool which naturally sheds.  Her wool ends up on fences, on the ground and stuck to trees as she sheds in the spring.  There are other sheep in the neighborhood too, but I love the thought that the wool might be from her.  The nest also has very small twigs, grass, and quite a bit of lichen.  There is a small hollow inside which is lined with tiny feathers.  It is otherwise empty, so hopefully it fell out of the tree after some baby birds were successfully fledged.

I will definitely be putting my wool scraps outdoors again.  Do any of you spread your yarn outside?
Also, I would love to hear from you if you have a guess as to what type of bird builds a nest like this.


  1. I don't normally put them out, but think I will now. I do, however, spread doggie hair from Jack's brushings around my garden to divert the deer. Dunno if it really works as it was so hot and dry this year that my garden fried up before getting very much from it that even the deer would want.

  2. When I was still homeschooling Garrison, we made a "wool dispenser", stuffed it full of yarn, and hung it near one of the bird feeders. A squirrel must have gotten to it because I found it on the ground a few weeks later. I put it away and began spreading wool here and there throughout the garden. I do the same with my hair; this may sound gross, but I feel it is better than putting it in the trash where it can't be used by another living thing. The hair can be used one more time before breaking down and returning to the earth. You have inspired me! I think I will hang that little wool dispenser (with wire this time) and give it another go. Thanks for the post!

  3. Haha, found a sheep post!! Love the idea of the wool being made into little birdy nests. We also put out our hair for the birds, it was the only way I could persuade our girls to have a haircut!!

  4. DOL,
    Images for bullock's oriole nest &
    Bullock's Oriole - BirdWeb - 2 good sites.
    I think the nest is a Bullock's Oriole's.
    Looks like the ones we see around Yakima.
    The other orioles are too far east and south.
    I saw an oriole's hanging nest for the first time shortly after I came to Yakima. It's in my "Mt.Clemen". So exciting! What do you think?